Apple Canada has struck a unique partnership with CDN Top 100 Solution Provider Compugen, that will see the Richmond Hill, Ont.-based company add iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV to its Device-as-a-Service (DaaS) program.
The plan is for Compugen to resell unlocked iPhones and managed all these devices on a monthly subscription model. The unlocked iPhones can be activated directly through Compugen or if customers wish through their own carrier of choice.
In a deal that looks – on the surface – to come out of left field, Compugen’s founder and CEO Harry Zarek said he has been talking to Apple Canada leadership for some time about Apple being plenteous in enterprise accounts with iPhone and iPads. Those two products specifically have become part of large organization’s IT infrastructure. Typically, those products are not necessarily approved by the IT department, but they are allowed because of the end user demand for them.
“This speaks to the keen interest in the Apple interface and the technology. Clearly iPhone has a high place in corporate Canada. We believe it’s more than a phone. It’s a high-end mobile computing device that needs to be managed just like all other IT devices. That’s the opportunity. We thought it deserved proper status and allow it to belong in the enterprise as an approved, vetted device,” Zarek said.
Zarek added that in most cases Apple products are treated as specialty devices and left only for a marketing department, as an example. “What we are saying here is, there’s an opportunity with the iPhone to be part of the full life cycle management for post-sales support where Compugen would manage the app loads, the security and the replacement at the end of the term.”
Compugen, in its DaaS program, would provide services such as configuration, asset tagging, patching, and updates.
Apple Canada leadership liked Compugen’s DaaS program, Zarek said. He went on to say that Apple Canada acknowledged that this as-a-service model is ideal for enterprise accounts.
Compugen is working on around the clock service offering for Apple. Zarek characterizing this as a crawl, walk, run model as the company is working to figure out how best to service the Apple products at the enterprise. This will include a help desk service.
“Most customers have a phone bundle. Our goal is to have that unbundled to either buy or lease from us and treat it like we do notebooks and printers,” Zarek said.Zarek does not know – at this point in time – how many unlocked iPhones Compugen will sell in the next year, but he is encouraged from the CRTC announcement that smartphones need to be made available unlocked.
Compugen will be targeting healthcare, public sector and utilities for this new effort with Apple Canada and are working on developing blueprints for repeatable solutions for these key industries.
“One metric we know for sure is the two-year value of the iPhone is much higher than any other device. That means the monthly leasing fee can be significantly lower. I also believe that the simplicity of the Apple software will result in lower support calls,” Zarek said.
Zarek has attained some market data from IBM to support this metric. He told CDN that IBM saw better lower support costs in supporting the Mac environment.